Labor Day festivities are just around the corner and with that comes the fun with grilling out and sharing dishes with friends. Today I wanted to share a delicious Greek Quinoa Salad that can be made with many of the veggies lurking in that backyard garden and that easily pairs with a few items you just might have in your pantry.
Walmart challenged me to create a unique dish for Labor Day and I couldn’t wait to share this one. You see, I have been going through a bit of an identity crisis since my visit with my allergist. I was advised to limit my pasta intake and it has been a hard sacrifice for me because I happen to love my pasta…and, sadly, my pasta salads are my claim to fame in the cookout world.
I’m thankful that I discovered quinoa last year because it has helped me so much with my pasta hurdle. I hope you caught my Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers I made last week and that handy tutorial for preparing your quinoa in the rice cooker! I have been continuing to experiment with this delicious and protein-packed ingredient for my summer cooking and couldn’t wait to pair it with some of my favorite Greek flavors. This quinoa salad proves that there are certainly some fun ways around that pasta hurdle and I doubt you will even miss your pasta after you try this!
The most labor-intensive part of this recipe (no pun intended!) is the chopping. It is an awful lot of chopping, but the flavors are so worth it. This Greek Quinoa Salad is filled with fresh vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, and fresh parsley. The salty bites come from the Greek olives and the bites of feta cheese (optional, should you be dairy-free). The whole salad is tied together with a delicious red wine vinaigrette made even more flavorful the longer that it sits.
This is one of those recipes that you can customize depending on what you have growing in your garden or what is on sale that week in your store. If you are shopping Walmart, be sure to bring the competing store fliers in and have them price match those produce prices for you!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and I hope it can be your very own, “claim to fame,” at your next cookout! Happy Labor Day, friends!
Greek Quinoa Salad
Recipe Type: Side
This Greek Quinoa Salad has all the right flavors, colors, and textures with a light vinaigrette dressing to round it all out.
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic, smashed and finely chopped to a paste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup quinoa
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 cups red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cup pitted Greek olives
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cucumber, diced and seeds removed
- Feta for sprinkling on salad (optional)
- In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and zest from one lemon. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the salad to allow the flavors to meld.
- Rinse the quinoa in a strainer until the water runs clear.
- Prepare quinoa as directed above in a rice cooker or according to package directions.
- Transfer the cooked quinoa into a bowl, fluff with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
- Add the tomatoes, olives, chopped red bell pepper, chopped cucumbers and dressing and toss to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours before serving. The longer it sits the better the flavor.
- Just before serving, transfer to a platter and sprinkle feta on top.